ATLANTA — State rules will loosen up for concerts and conventions and some amusement park thrill rides in new rules issued by Gov. Brian Kemp.
The new state guidelines don’t strictly limit the size of concert audiences or the space between patrons or require masks for the audience.
The state asks venues to have empty seats between parties of patrons “to the extent practicable.”
It encourages staggered entry and exits, assigned concessions stands and restrooms “to the extent practicable.”
It requires workers to wear masks – unless it’s “causing difficulty breathing” or “due to warm weather.”
But don't hold your breath expecting to rush back to see your favorite band, says concert promoter Alex Weiss, who last booked a March 7 show at the Variety Playhouse for the rock band Wire.
"With big tours and national artists, none of those artists are willing to tour at this point. They don’t want to put themselves at risk," Weiss told 11Alive.
At the Georgia World Congress Center, there are some big conventions booked in September.
The state rules will give conventions a lot of leeway after July, also with no limits to size or space between patrons. Masks are not required for conventioneers. But officials expect conventioneers to make their own choices to stay healthy.
"I think people appreciate having a little extra space, and we want to continue to provide those opportunities," said Jen LeMaster, chief administrative officer of the GWCC. "I think people are already looking for those changes to become more permanent, anyway, and more 'normal.'"
LeMaster points out that the sprawling GWCC site has plenty of space for conventioneers to comfortably social distance while attending conventions.
The new state guidelines also give sporting events the leeway to open after July 1, by guidelines enacted by their own leagues.
Seating in every third row for groups of patrons in rides “such as roller coasters, log flumes, (and) train rides” is required, while closing down rides “such as fun houses, ball pits, jump-arounds (and) haunted houses” unless the rides can be sanitized between uses and social distancing enforced.
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